PhotographyTag Archive -

Black and White Temple, Chiang Rai, Thailand

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The black temple and white temple in Chiang Rai is the most striking temples we’ve experienced in Thailand. What makes them different from most temples is that they are created by two artists and feels more like a piece of art then a place of worship. White temple is a place for religious beliefs while the black temple feels less geared towards a certain faith. The temples and artists are very different from each other but one of the things that is prominent in both is the theme of life and death. Well atleast of death in the more physical sense.

Bangkok – A city of diversity

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Random photos of our last two visits to Bangkok, Thailand…

Sunset in Langkawi

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Sunset at Pentai Tengah and Pentai Cenang, Langkawi, Malaysia. No more, no less…

Manila Street Photography

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All that glitters is Dubai

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Deserts? Indoor skiing-slopes? Worlds tallest building? Man made islands shaped like palm trees? Gold markets? If it’s possible to construct it, it’s in Dubai. The constant drive to be the best at everything they do, and often achieving that goal as well, brings your thoughts to Las Vegas, but the similarities ends there. Dubai is a mishmash of skyscrapers, gold markets, ancient Mosques and deserts.

A visit to the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, is a must. It’s an impressive glass building measuring a staggering 828m (2717 ft.) and is truly a symbol for Dubai’s aim for the top. The nearby Mall of Dubai housing a huge gold market, some 1 200 shops, theme parks, ice rinks etc. is a great way to ”escape” the heat for a few hours.

The seemingly unending cash flow and progressive investments has turned Dubai into an ultramodern city where progress is everything, steadily keeping both feet in traditional Islam beliefs but keeping a constant eye on life in the west. This is a city where almost anything can be bought if you have enough money but holding hands (man-woman), showing affection in public or showing to much skin is a big no-no.

One might expect to find the streets filled with emirati men in long white ankle-length shirts (Kandura) and emirati women in covered in black over-garment (Abaya). In reality this is hardly the case, indeed this is the preferred dress code, but most people you encounter in Dubai is the myriad of (mainly) Indian and Pakistani foreign workers.

Our stay in Dubai was limited to less then four days so we had to be effective. Arriving late in Dubai we walked around for countless hours trying to get a feel of what Dubai nightlife had to offer. Surprisingly the streets felt empty and one thing that caught our attention was the lack of women out at night. During our first 8 hours not a single one of the numerous people we encountered was female. Since roughly 30% of the population in Dubai is female we expected to see mainly men but it still felt different from back home in northern Sweden.

After countless of hours sightseeing by foot it became evident that Dubai is not made for pedestrians. The metro is one of best metro systems I’ve ever experienced but lack of connections and the rest of the city being made to cater cars and cars only makes commuting difficult. Soar feet is to be expected for people aiming for greener and cheaper ways of travel.

Trying to get to Burj al Arab, which is consider to be one of the most luxurious hotels in the world, took us almost 3 hours when relying only on walking and metro. We got to experience a beautiful sunset by the beach when we finally got there so I guess it was worth it.

If you love food then your gonna love Dubai. Almost every cuisine in the world is represented here. Ranging from simple food stalls to Michelin star restaurants you’ll hardly starve. As a vegan there’s countless of alternatives, I would highly recommend the Indian and Lebanese. Even places like McDonalds had some extensive vegan food options, though I advice you to try the local food before heading for the fast food restaurants.

During our visit we stayed in a district called Bur Dubai, one of the older parts of the city and the residence for the many expats working round the clock to keep the dream alive. After just a few hours into our visit it becomes clear how dependent Dubai is on their foreign workforce.

For Emiratis and multi corporations Dubai is the land of opportunities. Sadly, as in most cases, the future for the majority of the city’s guest workers is less bright.  With monthly salaries ranging from 100-200 USD it’s hardly the millions advertised. Working conditions has been described by Human Rights Watch as ”less then human” and it’s hard to ignore the evident gaps in social status when visiting Dubai.

Dubai is an amazing city and a bit of glitter and gold is always nice, but I can’t help but having a slightly bad feeling about where they’re heading. Waiting to board our flight to Manila, our next destination, I just can’t help but questioning, do this kind of progress always have to be on the expense of others?

***Update*** Serious wi-fi issues in Manila. Pictures coming:)

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Tue Nov 21 01:41:18 2017
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